In the last few years, Apple has developed so many features that you can use all your Apple devices together. So, let’s say you have a Mac and an iPad. You can actually use the iPad as a secondary device with so much ease. There is also this universal control which is a feature that allows you to move from one device to another with the same mouse and keyboard.
Use iPad as a second screen
The feature that allows you to use the iPad as an extended screen is called SideCar. The name is not very common like AirDrop, but it works just as well every time. With Sidecar, you can both expand and mirror your Mac.
Before we start using Sidecar, let’s go through the basic requirements for using this feature.
- First, of course, you need to connect both the iPad and the Mac to the same iCloud account.
- Now you can use Sidecar both wired and wireless. You will need a USB cable that came with the iPad that you can connect to the Mac.
- If you are thinking of using it wirelessly, both devices should be within 10 meters of each other and require Wifi, Bluetooth and Handoff to be enabled in the Settings application on both devices.
Let’s look at the mac devices which supports this sidespan feature.
- MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
- MacBook (2016 or later)
- MacBook Air (2018 or later)
- iMac (2017 or later)
- iMac Pro
- Mac Mini (2018 or later)
- Mac Pro
When it comes to the iPad side, these are the devices that Sidecar supports.
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPad (6th generation or later)
- iPad Mini (5th generation or later)
- iPad Air (3rd generation or later)
Now that we know which devices, let’s see how we can use the Sidecar feature.
How to use Sidecar
There are two ways to connect your Mac to your iPad as an extended screen.
- Tap the Control Center icon in the upper right corner of the screen in your iPad. Click on in the control center Show section as seen below.
- In the Display section, you will see the name of the iPad if you have the iPad near the Mac and it is alive. In my case, you can see Joseph’s iPad in the screenshot below. All you have to do is click on the device and the iPad becomes an extended device with no windows open.
This is the first way. Let’s look the other way around where we extend directly from the window instead of through the device.
- In the second way, let’s say you want to move Things app to the iPad as an extended screen. Open it Things application in the Macbook. In the application window, move over the green button in the upper left corner of the window you want to move to the iPad. Once you move, you will see this list of options and if you have the iPad close, option “Move to Joseph’s iPad“
- Click on that option and the Things app will be available on the iPad as you can see below. You will also have a sidebar options as you can see.
These are the two ways you can use Sidecar in your Mac. Now let’s talk about some of the options in the Sidebar menu.
Now, let’s see if you do not have an external keyboard on the iPad. So, if you want to type something, you need a keyboard. You can tap on the keyboard option and the keyboard will appear. You can tap on it and it will disappear. You can open it as you need.
If you want to disconnect the iPad from the Mac, tap the icon below the keyboard icon, and in the popup window that appears, tap Disconnect, and your iPad will cease to be a screen for your Mac and become a normal iPad again. always.
Now, when you use the iPad as an extended screen, you need controls like Shift, Command, etc., you can use the keyboard of the Mac to use, or else you can use the touch controls of the sidebar in the iPad.
If you want to see the mac Dock on your iPad, you can tap on this icon in the top left corner as shown in the image below.
Once you choose that the Dock will disappear from the Mac and point to the iPad. You will also see the top bar of the Mac on the iPad.
Please keep in mind that no iPad-related functionality will work when you use the iPad as a secondary screen. Actually, your iPad will go offline when used that way.
Use Mouse and Apple Pencil in full screen
You can use the mouse in the Mac directly on the iPad. All you have to do is move the cursor to the right side of the screen in Mac and it will slide into the iPad as you would use it in an extensive display of monitors. You can easily move back and forth between Mac and iPad without any error.
Now let’s talk about Apple Pencil. When you use Apple Pencil in the extended screen, it behaves like a mouse. When you tap an option with Apple Pencil, it behaves as if it were a click of the mouse. So it’s easy to use Apple Pencil. Same thing for the touchscreens too. A tap on the screen will act as a click.
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.
- Select in the Preferences window Syspan.
- In the SideCar section, if you have an iPad connected, you will see options like this.
Here you can choose where to show the SideBar (right or left) and Touch Bar (top or bottom) in the iPad.
Also, if you want to double-tap with Apple Pencil, you can enable that option as well.
In addition, you can also disconnect the iPad here as shown in the screenshot above.
I personally use this feature a lot because it definitely improves my desktop setup and I would never say it’s a necessity, but it definitely adds a bit of color to the production setup.